Teens pondering the universal question, “What do I want to do with my life?” often have no clue where to begin, much less how to set and reach their goals. Luckily, for a small group of Long Beach youth, the journey to find a career is about to get a little easier…and a lot more fun!
Starting Fall 2012, ITEP is excited to launch a new program: Exploring Careers in Long Beach. This after-school career exploration program will provide youth with opportunities for personal development and hands-on exploration of key industries and employers in greater Long Beach.
Exploring Careers in Long Beach is being piloted as Students With Ambitious Goals (aka S.W.A.G.) with 50 sophomores from Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School, where administrators and teachers are eager to offer experiential linked learning opportunities for their students. Assistant Principal Matthew Brown notes, “when schools are working hard to make high school relevant, it is amazing to have a program that truly shows our students what opportunities exist right in their own back yard. And, with businesses getting directly involved, it helps schools more effectively align with what students should be learning to succeed in local industries.”
Through a progressive program of twice-monthly excursions, S.W.A.G. participants will explore hot jobs in cool industries such as Global Trade, Transportation, Health Care, Environmental, Energy, Engineering, Law and Government, as well as explore career opportunities available in the skilled trades and through entrepreneurship. Youth will build meaningful connections with industry leaders who will guide them in their career exploration.
ITEP has partnered with Exploring/Learning for Life to organize Exploring Careers in Long Beach as an official explorer post and has built a volunteer Advisory Board made up of Long Beach business, education, workforce and community leaders who will guide its strategy and direction. ITEP Board Member and Exploring Careers Advisory Board Chair, Stacey Jones of CH2M HILL notes, “The Exploring Careers program will give us [ITEP] a great opportunity to broaden our industry-based educational programs into Long Beach, to provide high school sophomores with hands-on experience learning about the highest-demand industries in Long Beach, and to expand their understanding of the real career choices out there.”
S.W.A.G.’s Kick-off Orientation for students and parents in late September will feature a keynote presentation by Damon Dunn, Long Beach business and civic leader, who will share his own journey from abject poverty to stunning success.
In October, S.W.A.G. will highlight the Global Trade industry, beginning with a life expectations session led by representatives from Matson, NYK Line, and the Port of Long Beach, hosted at Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network. Later in the month, participants will follow up with a visit to each company’s facilities at the Port, where they will board a container ship and meet industry representatives who will share their exciting careers the shipping and logistics industries.
As this is a pilot program, there are still many opportunities to get involved. ITEP is actively seeking sponsors to help us defray program costs. Special thanks to Tesoro for coming on board as our very first corporate sponsor! We are also still looking for volunteers to help with monthly excursions and host site visits.
For more information contact Program Coordinator, Gabriela Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org